When I was growing up in the 90’s I often thought that I was weird. Like many teenagers I enjoyed spending time with my friends, but that was usually when I was over their house, outdoors with them in the park or in a bowling alley. When it came to going out to a pub or club I instantly felt myself wanting to curl up into a ball and hiding in a corner where no one could see me. Almost like a tortoise retreating to the safety of its shell.
Pubs and clubs just aren’t my thing. I know that now. I wasn’t weird. I’m still not weird. I just know what I like and it’s not social drinking, clubbing or dancing in public places.
I like quiet evenings in, snuggled up on the sofa watching tv, a good film or reading a book. I enjoy quiet activities such as sewing, writing, crafts or just sitting in silence in the garden watching the bees fly around and listening to the birds singing.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this.
When I was a teenager I’d force myself to join my friends in a pub or club, but the whole time I’d be wishing I was at home. I thought my friends would think I was anti-social and strange if I turned them down for a night in on my own, but I know now that that’s ok, and if my friends did think I was strange, weird or odd then I have to ask myself if they really truly are friends for not embracing who I am.
I like being alone.
I don’t like being the centre of attention unless it’s on my own terms and something I am in control of.
I don’t like being in a crowd.
Whilst scrolling through Facebook one evening a Facebook Status by comedian Miranda Hart appeared on my newsfeed. It read as follows:
“Snug as a bug in a rug. I so wish I had known I was an introvert in my 20’s. Then I would have known going to bed at 8.20 whilst it was still light was how I needed to recharge sometimes. How being alone was ok and necessary. How too many parties or the wrong kind were detrimental tiring. The punishment I was put under by myself and others for not always wanting to be social and hating clubbing was ridiculous. I share this to help any young introverts in case they don’t realise they are one and just think they are weird, or worse, mentally unstable. So much anxiety and labelling comes from the fact we don’t know ourselves wholly yet. Now I know beng snug as a bug in a rug (correction, weighted blanket) is not because I am middle aged but because it’s a great joy and how I recharge and want to live. Any anxiety I had going clubbing in my 20’s wasn’t illness it was because I just bloody hated clubbing. Night night!”
Miranda sums perfectly what an introvert is. I am an introvert and that’s ok. We’re not weird. We’re not odd. We’re not anti-social. We just know what we like and we like to stick to that.
I wish I had know this when I was a teenager. Now that I’m in my thirties I feel like I’ve learnt so much about myself. I now know who I am and what I like doing.
I’m an introvert and that’s ok.